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Machine : Master or Slave

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Machine : Master or Slave


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Run time 16:20
Audio/Visual sound, b&w

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Reviews

Reviewer: Marysz - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - January 7, 2012
Subject: More Capitalist Realism
This late World War II film gloomily predicts that when the war ends, workers will be laid off and replaced by labor-saving machines. The film uses a factory as an example. We never learn what it actually makes, but sure enough, the bosses buy a roomful of machines and lay off 65 workers. One of the laid-off workers and his wife end up going to live on a cousin's farm to be hired hands after he can't find any more work. What a grim way to live.

The factory, in a mighty crescendo of production cranks out goods. In a film collage of manically working machines, the factory becomes a Metropolis-style nightmare of industrialism (minus any workers). But the machines are so successful that the company builds up inventories that they can't sell; they're too expensive for the ordinary consumer (especially if they don't have a job). The board of directors is stuck. Their greedy plan to fire the workers and enrich the shareholders has backfired. If there were justice in this world, they would end up slaving away on the same farm as the poor worker and his wife. But we know that will never be the case; some bank will bail them out.

In the meantime, they ponder what to do with all the stuff in the warehouse. Should they lower the price? Or extend their sales territory? These men are absolutely clueless. Automation has forced them to face the fact that they make a product no one really wants.
Reviewer: ERD. - favoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - September 4, 2011
Subject: Historically interesting
This late World War II film must have been interesting and thought provoking for the audiences of that time.
Reviewer: Franc28 - favoritefavoritefavoritefavoritefavorite - April 24, 2005
Subject: A company full of dumbasses
Marysz's comment is very silly. This is not "capitalist realism" : almost everyone in this movie is a complete idiot. Except for that one guy that proposes to lower prices, the only intelligent idea in the whole thing. No one proposes to, you know, stop one of the machines or lower production back to the planned levels, which would be the obvious solution in the normal world.

I loved this movie simply because everyone is a complete idiot. Maybe it's realist in Bizarro World.
Reviewer: Spuzz - favoritefavoritefavorite - March 9, 2005
Subject: There's a new game that you play you see..
A pretty bizarre problem scenario movie of a company that lays off a bunch of people to bring in new machines, then is stuck with a whole pile of inventory because they've also raised their prices! Well. Duh, wouldn't you think if your production is going to double, that you lower your prices to maintain supply? Somehow that thought didn't occur to the company (who's product is not made terribly clear by the way).
Great production montages though.
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